My 2014 goals with my horse consist of:
- Starting dressage and jumping lessons with a new instructor.
- Learning to drive the truck and trailer by myself so I don't need to bring my dad to shows.
- Go to at least one dressage show with Ursula. (I have never competed dressage before.)
- Get Ursula over her fear of clippers and give her a real hair cut!
- Go for a trail ride (or several).
My other goals consist only of one thing...
- Pay off the next student loan.
My husband and I were about $100,000 in debt when we got married a little over a year ago (student loans and a car loan), and until that's gone (or at least most of it) we can't buy a house or have children. This amount was split into 8 different loans. We paid one off last year, have rolled the monthly amount we paid on that one into the one with the next highest interest rate, so we are over 6 months ahead on payments with it, and have been saving as much as we can. As soon as we are able to, we are going write a big fat check to pay off the remaining balance of the next loan. In order to do this, we have taken a pledge, starting today, to not spend any unnecessary money, at all. We are only buying food for meals at the discount grocery store. We are not buying desserts, snack food, junk food, or even meat, and have sworn to drink nothing but tap water to keep the cost of groceries down. We have sworn off everything else, like antique shops, thrift stores, movies, tack shops, and eating out, at all, for at least the month of January. I would ideally like to keep this up all the way until April and see how far we get with our savings. I have also pledged not to take a single riding lesson until April.
Once the next one is paid off, we are rolling the monthly payments from the first two into the one with the next highest interest rate, and I hope to snowball it and get all of them paid off within the next few years.
We have done this before and made HUGE progress. You would be surprised how much all the little unnecessary expenses add up. If you spend $35 here, $25 there, add an armload of junk food to each grocery trip, and eat out twice per month, you've just added hundreds of dollars to your monthly spending. Eliminate it for a time, and you will be amazed at how fast your savings grows, and how wealthy you feel when the spending freeze is lifted!